Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Amelia Earhart Bridge)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge
Coordinates39°33′34″N 95°06′49″W / 39.5594°N 95.1136°W / 39.5594; -95.1136Coordinates: 39°33′34″N 95°06′49″W / 39.5594°N 95.1136°W / 39.5594; -95.1136
Carries US 59
CrossesMissouri River
LocaleAtchison County, Kansas and Buchanan County, Missouri
Designnetwork tied arch bridge[1]
Total lengthapproximately 2,500 feet (760 m)[2]
Longest span527 feet (161 m)[2]
Construction cost$59.4M (US$64,820,000 with inflation[3])[1]
OpenedDecember 2012
ReplacesAmelia Earhart Bridge (see below)
Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge is located in Missouri
Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge
Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge
Location in Missouri
(old) Amelia Earhart Bridge
Amelia Earhart Bridge.jpg
The Amelia Earhart Bridge (taller, in background) in 2006. The lower bridge in the foreground is a rail bridge.
Coordinates39°33′35″N 95°06′46″W / 39.5597°N 95.1129°W / 39.5597; -95.1129
Carries US 59
CrossesMissouri River
LocaleAtchison County, Kansas and Buchanan County, Missouri
DesignTruss bridge
Total length2,571.2 feet (783.7 m)
Longest span419.8 feet (128.0 m)

The Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge is a network tied arch bridge over the Missouri River on U.S. Route 59 between Atchison, Kansas and Buchanan County, Missouri. It opened in December 2012, replacing a previous truss bridge with the same name.

The bridge is decorated with LED lighting which can be programmed to change for various functions. Pictures of the bridge with its arch lights in red, white, blue giving the illusion of a fluttering American flag when reflected in the Missouri River is widely circulated in social media.[4][5][6][7][8][9]


Plans for replacement of the old bridge with a new four-lane span with 10 foot shoulders were announced in the fall of 2007 by KDOT and MoDOT with construction slated on a new bridge for 2009–2011.[needs update] The bridge was designed by HNTB.[2]

Because of the Missouri River flood during the summer and fall of 2011, construction was stopped. Work on the bridge was started again toward the end of 2011. The bridge's arch was built on-site, rather than barged in like some tied-arch bridges, and completed on June 14, 2012.[10] The new bridge was opened to traffic in December 2012.

Previous bridge[edit]

The previous, 2-lane, bridge was built in 1937–1938 by the Works Progress Administration. It was designed by Sverdrup & Parcel. The bridge was originally named the Mo-Kan Free Bridge because it did not charge a toll (the adjacent railroad bridge served as a crossing for rail traffic as well as cars and pedestrians prior to the construction of the free bridge). The bridge was renamed for aviator Amelia Earhart, a native of Atchison, in 1997 to honor the centennial of her birth in Atchison. The illumination along the trusses and xenon spotlights that shine straight up into the sky from the top of the bridge's two peaks were installed and debuted during the Amelia Earhart Centennial Celebration on July 24, 1997.

The bridge was the topic of a preservation debate on whether to replace it with a new four-lane bridge or to keep it and build a second bridge. The old bridge was demolished on October 9, 2013 using linear shaped charges.[11]

The Amelia Earhart Bridge (the taller of the two)
The new Atchison bridge, the Amelia Earhart Bridge and the Atchison rail bridge during the 2011 Missouri River floods on June 26, 2011 looking towards downtown Atchison.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Amelia Earhart Bridge". MoDOT. Archived from the original on 27 March 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Amelia Earhart Bridge". HNTB. Archived from the original on 2014-08-19. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "New US-59/Amelia Earhart Bridge Project Update" (PDF). Kansas DoT. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  11. ^ Cronkleton, Robert A. (October 9, 2013). "Atchison's old Amelia Earhart Bridge now resting in Missouri River after blasting". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 9, 2013.

External links[edit]